Sunday, August 23, 2015

Salted Chocolate Tart with Spiced, Candied Orange

Oh man, the weather in Melbourne the past week has been absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

I shouldn't speak too soon but we've been getting so much sunshine, blue skies and I loved how it's not actually cold when you wake up, especially on the weekends. Not bad, Winter. Now, just stay that way.

Anyway, I made this tart because I had a dinner party the other week and dinner parties for me are always an excuse for me to try something new. Plus, I always enjoy using my Tefal Cuisine Companion. It really does make my life a lot simpler. But even if you don't have one, you could always use your hand or a standard food processor.

I thought it'd be good to make a chocolate tart, but wanted to spice things up a bit (literally) to give it more character. I don't have a sweet tooth so wanted to make sure it was a chocolate tart I'd enjoy too. 

I did this by making sure that the filling wasn't too sweet and also baked it till it was slightly wobbly in the middle when taking it out of the oven as I wanted the filling to be creamy and not too firm. Plus, I don't add sugar in my pastry and made sure it was extra short and crumbly. It is a known fact that salt brings out the flavour of the chocolate and that's why I wanted to add sea salt not just for the taste but also like seeing the specks of salt sprinkled over the tart. 

You'll find that this both the tart and filling isn't sweet at all and so needed another element to provide that sweetness it was lacking. Hence, the idea to put candied oranges on the tart to balance it all out. But, it was kind of a waste (and also very boring) to only boil the orange segments in a sugar syrup when you could add so many more interesting ingredients to make it more exciting! I really liked the addition of cinnamon and star anise because, again, it just gives a simple idea a lot more character.

Finally, I know that the chocolate glaze was another step and probably slightly unnecessary but thought that the tart would look so much sexier if it had that glossy shine to it. Loved it!

Overall, I really liked how the tart turned out. It's been a while since I got to experiment and create something in the kitchen. Best thing about cooking really is the fact that it's so personal and as you can see, I got to make so many changes or try new ideas so that I ended up with something that suited my palate. Something I always encourage people to do even when they're using one of my recipes. It was another fun day in the kitchen and glad I could make something for others to enjoy at the dinner party. 

Oh oh and I will share another recipe for what to do with the leftover syrup from the candied orange so stay tuned!

Salted Chocolate Tart with Spiced, Candied Orange

(adapted from this tart recipe by Epicurious)


For the pastry:
200g butter (chilled and cubed)
250g plain flour
Pinch of salt

125ml sour cream

For the candied orange:
1 1/2 cup water
3 cups sugar
2 oranges (sliced)
2 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise

For the chocolate filling:
250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the chocolate glaze:
2 tbsp heavy cream
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 tsp syrup (from candied orange)
1 tbsp water

To finish:
Sea salt flakes


For the pastry:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Pulse the butter, flour and salt in a food processor until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the sour cream and pulse until it combines together. Remove from food processor and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

2. Remove from fridge and roll out dough until 3mm thick. Line dough carefully into a tart pan and remove excess from the edges. Poke holes all around the base of the tart with a fork.

3. Line with baking paper and fill with rice or baking weights. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, before removing paper and rice/weights. 

4. Bake for another 10 minutes or until pastry is golden. Remove from oven and set aside to chill at room temperature until needed.

For the candied orange:

1. Place the water and sugar in a medium pot and bring to boil. Once boiling, add in the remaining ingredients and allow to boil for 20 minutes or until the orange becomes soft.

2. Remove oranges from pot and allow to cool on a plate. Reserve 1 tsp of the syrup for the glaze later or make more candied oranges (if you have extra) as a snack.

For the chocolate filling:

1. Place the chocolate in a bowl and bring the cream to a boil. Once boiling, pour over the chocolate. Gently stir until smooth.

2. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a separate bowl. Tap the bowl on the counter/table to release the air bubbles. Stir mixture into the melted chocolate. 

3. Pour mixture into cooled tart and bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 15 - 20 minutes or until the filling is set 2 inches from the edge and still wobbly in the middle. Allow to cool.

For the chocolate glaze:

1. Place the chocolate in a bowl and bring the cream to a boil. Pour cream over chocolate. Stir in the syrup (made from candied orange) and water.

To finish:

1. Once the filling is cooled, pour the glaze over the tart. Arrange with candied orange slices and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Cook's Note: Tart can be made several hours in advance before serving. No need to reheat.

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